Friday, May 30, 2008

Pork, aubergines and rice

I am pretty confident that no Chinese chef has ever cooked the ingredients for a stir-fry in the oven. But I do not like frying aubergines: cubed ones, in particular, are reluctant to soften, and tend to stick to even well-seasoned pans. Once I had tossed my aubergines in oil, seasoned them, and put them in the oven, I realised that I did not need another pan for my other ingredients (leftover belly pork, cubed; sliced spring onions; chopped garlic). After 25 minutes, I threw them into the roasting tin with the aubergines, stirred them about with a little more oil (groundnut), turned down the oven (from gas mark 6/200C) to gas mark 2/150C, and gave everything a further 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, I cooked the rice (the link on the right takes you to various agonised posts on this subject), tipped it into the roasting tin, and mixed everything up with some soy sauce, nam pla, and rice vinegar. (There is a more detailed recipe, for another inauthentic pork stir fry, here.)

5 comments:

Mark Thwaite said...

Yuck -- eating meat: foul, disgusting habit.

But re: aubergines -- whenever I use them I boil them (pre-cubed) in salted water first (for about five mins). That seems to "break their backs" and forgoes the need for soaking, salting or what have you ...

Nicholas Clee said...

Interesting idea -- I must try it.

I had always assumed that aubergines -- in common with courgettes and other vegetables with high water contents -- did not respond well to boiling, tending towards mushiness.

The Phantom Chef said...

Can't say I have a problem with my rice personally. However, we all have our 'cookery nemesis' so to speak. Mine is (as I think you may already know) is custard. I think I'll master alchemy before getting that right. Anyway, great idea. Did the belly pork work ok? I always find that unless belly pork has been slow roasted for what usually feels like six months, it has an almost jellied texture that I find off-putting. Did frying it crisp it up enough?

The Phantom Chef said...

P.s. Thanks for the link on your site Nicholas. I'm really, genuinely flattered :thumbsup:

Nicholas Clee said...

This belly pork came without a rind. I decided to poach it, in a pot that also included the bones from a chicken eaten the day before. So I got a stock as well. I gave it about three and a half hours, on the lowest possible flame.